At NAB 2014 in Las Vegas Blackmagic Design showed off its latest creation: a 4K-ready studio cam with an active Micro Four Thirds mount, a full complement of top-end connections, and a massive 10-inch monitor—all for just $2,995. There's also an HD version that eschews Ultra HD and costs just $1,995.
In a show where relatively affordable 4K cameras are already making a significant impact, Blackmagic's Studio Camera looks to be the one most ready to be adopted by pro-level workflows. Where cameras like the GH4 and Sony A7s try to woo run 'n gun shooters who want great video from a stills camera, the Studio Camera is all about high-end video, specifically in a static environment such as, well, a studio.
The biggest inclusion—literally—is the camera's 10.1-inch TFT-LCD monitor. Though Blackmagic is mum on specs for the panel, the large size is perfect for studio setups and should make framing with the camera's 13.056mm x 7.344mm (active area) sensor nice and easy. Along with the panel is a host of useful ports including SDI in, SDI out (10-bit 4:2:2), two XLR ports with phantom power, optical fiber input/output, mic/headphone jacks, and a 2.5mm LANC remote control port.
Unlike some previous Blackmagic cameras, the Studio Camera features an active Micro Four Thirds mount. This allows not only the use of Micro Four Thirds lenses (as well as adapters) but full aperture control and autofocus as well, according to Blackmagic's site.
In keeping with the Studio Camera's name, the design is geared largely to function within a controlled environment. Other than compatibility with optical fiber cable, the camera also has front and rear tally lights and compatibility with current HD switchers via SDI. This means that you can integrate the Studio Camera right into an existing workflow and, as you switch to its feed, the light will let the onscreen talent know where they are being shot from.
That aside, the Studio Camera is still compact enough to be useful for quick movement shots. The camera even has an integrated battery good for up to three hours (four hours for the HD-only version) away from power. With the battery the power connections are even hot-swappable, letting you move away from power sources and use external batteries to keep the show on the road without shutting the camera down.
The HD version of the Studio Camera is available now, while the 4K version is slated to ship this June. For more information you can check out Blackmagic's site right here. We've got boots on the ground at NAB 2014 and will have some hands-on impressions of the new camera up as soon as possible.
(Images via Blackmagic)